Before you can make changes to a building you may need to lodge a Development Application (DA).​

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 defines development as the:​

  • use of land​
  • subdivision of land​
  • erection of a building​
  • carrying out of work​
  • demolition​
  • any other matter controlled by an environmental planning instrument. 

Refer to Councils Lodge your application page for instructions on lodging an application via the NSW Planning Portal.

Steps to take prior to lodgement

Review of the Planning Controls 

Understanding the planning controls that apply to your property, the type of development you can undertake and how to address any non-compliances, is fundamental in determining the likelihood of an approval. You can obtain the planning controls that apply to your property on our website and discuss any implications which arise with one of our Planning Officers or by consulting with your architect, building consultant or town planner.

Pre-Lodgement Meeting

Consider one of Council's Pre-Lodgement services to discuss specific planning, environmental or design issues and find out how to address any non-compliances with the planning controls.

Read Council's Development Application Lodgement Requirements

This guide is the primary tool for Council staff to determine whether your application is "Assessment Ready" and can be accepted into the system to proceed to notification, referral, assessment and determination.

Calculate relevant fees

Use our fee estimator for Development Applications to determine the fees applicable for your application.

Review other factors that may be applicable to your development

Review relevant information on Environmental and community protections and Guidelines for development on flood prone land.


To prevent unnecessary delays with the handling and acceptance of your DA, ensure the following is uploaded to the Planning Portal in as per Council's document naming formats, outlined on page two of our Lodgement Requirements (Form ID: 2060).

Statement of Environmental Effects (or Statement of Modification) - Applicable for the majority of Development Applications, Modifications or Review of Determinations. 

Cost Summary Report / Quantity Surveyors Report (Form ID: 2080) must be submitted with all applications as follows (find out more):

  • Development with an estimated cost up to $1,000,000 – Cost Summary Report Form completed by a Building Industry Professional
  • Development with an estimated cost of $1,000,001 or greater – a Quantity Surveyors Report or Cost Summary Report completed by a Quantity Surveyor

    Note: If council identifies that the estimated cost of works exceeds $1,000,001 a Quantity Surveyor report will be requested as additional information.

Boundary Identification Survey - Applicable for the majority of applications, with the exception of change of use of premises, internal alterations or a strata subdivision.

Architectural Plans - a "Masterset", which is a full set of all architectural plans uploaded as one document in the portal under 'Architectural Plans'. Please note, landscape and stormwater plans must be uploaded separately.

Technical Reports - For example, Geotech, Bushfire, Biodiversity, Heritage, SEPP 65/Apartment Design Guide, Traffic, BCA, BASIX, Waste Management, Arborist and Flooding, where applicable to your development proposal and/or site. 

Payment of application fees - Council now offer online payments for Development Applications and will issue an invoice once your application is ready for acceptance. DO NOT upload payment details to the Planning Portal.

What to expect when your application has been accepted by Council?

Following review of the documentation submitted with your development application, and receipt and review of any additional information that Council has requested, the application will progress to acceptance and payment. Council will email an invoice to the applicant requesting payment of applicable fees, and once payment has been received, the application will progress to the steps outlined below:

Notification/advertisement & Submissions
Once your application is has been accepted by Council via the NSW Planning Portal, it will be placed on public exhibition for generally 14 days, however some developments are required to be exhibited for 21 or 28 days, depending on the development proposed. Surrounding residents will be notified in accordance with Council's Community Participation Plan and will be provided to opportunity to make a submission about the proposed development. Applications on exhibition are viewable through Application Search

Note: If an application is amended before a determination is made, the changes may require re-notification and be subject to a re-notification fee.

The majority of development applications will require input from specialist technical officers within Council, e.g Landscape Architect, Engineers, Environmental Health, Ecologists etc. If the application is classified as Integrated Development, requires concurrence or involves land associated with a public authority, the application may be forwarded through the NSW Planning Portal to the relevant public authority for comment. The assessment officer will take comments received from referral bodies into consideration when assessing the development application.

Certain development applications require approval (such as a permit or license) from a NSW Government agency, before a determination can be made by Council, these are called integrated development. Integrated development applications require an approval listed in Section 4.46 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. For example, this may include an aquaculture permit, mining lease, pollution licence, Aboriginal heritage impact permit. For Council to process an integrated development application, an integrated development fee is payable, in addition to a fee payable to the relevant NSW Government agency through the Planning Portal. The Online Payments for Concurrence and Referrals guide (NSW Government) will assist you in paying the fee through the NSW Planning Portal.

After your application is accepted by Council, it will be allocated to an assessment officer. Once the notification period has finished, the assessment officer will commence assessing the development application and complete a preliminary review of it. The officer will review all plans and supporting documentation, conduct a site inspection, review any submissions made, consider statutory requirements and compliance with relevant planning controls.

Following this, any issues identified as part of the preliminary assessment will be referred to the applicant in writing, with clear direction of the issues and potential resolution of them. Where no issues are identified during the preliminary assessment, the assessment officer will complete an assessment report and make recommendation for determination. Similarly, where issues are identified as part of the preliminary review, the subsequent response from the applicant will be considered as part of the final assessment which informs the assessment report and recommendation for determination.

If during the assessment of your application, issues arise that require more information or changes to the proposal, Council will contact you to inform you of what is required to progress your application. Council will only accept amendments to your application once. Please ensure you make a genuine attempt to resolve the issues. If you propose to amend the application and the amendments to be made do not achieve a satisfactory outcome, Council may choose to either determine the amended application or not accept the amended information and proceed to complete the assessment and determine the application as originally submitted.

It is strongly advised that you discuss any changes to your development application with the assessment officer prior to lodging the amended information on the NSW Planning Portal.

The assessment officer will put forward a recommendation to management or the application may be reviewed by various determination panels, depending on its size, complexity, number of submissions received etc.

Your application may be approved (consent), approved subject to further requirements (deferred commencement consent), or refused if the proposal is unacceptable. If your application is refused, you may wish to submit a Review of Determination with changes to address the reasons for the refusal. Alternatively, you may wish to explore your appeal rights to the Land and Environment Court.

The applicant will receive electronic confirmation of the outcome of the application via the NSW Planning Portal.

Deferred commencement approval
If your development application includes a deferred commencement condition, you must satisfy the condition for your consent to become operational.

Operational consent must be requested via the NSW Planning Portal and any required documentation must be uploaded for review. Refer to the Quick Reference Guide - Deferring Commencement of a Development Application for further instructions.

Once Council receives your application, an invoice will be sent for payment of relevant fees. Council will review your documentation, and if the conditions have been satisfied, operational consent confirmation will be provided via the NSW Planning Portal.

Before you start work

Once development consent is granted, there are some more steps you must take before you can start to build:

Obtain a construction certificate - In most cases, a construction certificate is required and can be obtained through an accredited certifier (private certifier) or through Council. Refer to our webpage for information on Construction Certificate lodgement.

Appoint a Principal Certifier - The certifier will conduct critical stage inspections and provide final completion certificates once your project is completed. See the Building Professionals Board for more information on appointing a private certifier.

Notify Council in writing of the Principal Certifier's details and the date of commencement of building works, at least 2 days prior to commencement.

Before you start any work, make sure you seek advice and approvals from Council or a planning professional. Protect yourself, your project and your community by following the guidance you are given to avoid unnecessary financial and legal consequences.